It’s hard to imagine a baseball team with a 19-3 record having a disappointing end to its season, but that’s exactly what happened to the Arab Junior High Knights last week.
But it wasn’t losses that disappointed. It was lost games.
“Our season came to a screeching halt,” said Arab coach Blake Beam.
The Junior Knights entered play last week 17-3 and were scheduled to play two games Tuesday and two games Thursday in the Sylvania Tournament. The foes were expected to be North Jackson, Geraldine, Section and Sylvania.
But on Tuesday, Geraldine was a no-show, resulting in a forfeit win for Arab, and the Knights defeated North Jackson 15-2 in four innings.
And that was it.
“After traveling to Sylvania to play a doubleheader on Tuesday and leaving Sylvania only playing four innings, it was quite disappointing to say the least,” Beam said. “We played well offensively in the first game, but this is not the way we planned on ending the season.
“We worked to get Hartselle Junior High scheduled for a doubleheader (Thursday), but their field was deemed unplayable. So, unfortunately, we have had to call it a season.”
The Knights not only played well offensively against North Jackson, they pitched pretty good, too. Evan Brazelton and Luke Martin combined on a no-hitter, with Brazelton getting the win after pitching three innings. He struck out seven but also issed four walks.
Martin had one strikeout in one inning of work.
At the plate, Drew Puccio went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Luke Hudson went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Max Cooper went 1-for-2 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Brazelton was 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, one RBI and one run scored.
Landon Strickland was 1-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and one run scored. Dylan Kirkland was 1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Martin, Wyatt Lamar, Noah Mann and Frank Clark each scored one run.
“We have had a great season,” Beam said. “I wish this team could just keep playing through the remainder of the school year. There would never be a good time for the season to end with a team like this.
“I’m more than proud of the leadership and improvement that we have seen throughout this season. Arab has got some exciting years of baseball coming up. This group outscored their opponents 143-47, won 19 games, pitched eight shutouts and had more impressive numbers that are unseen.
“I have no doubt that those numbers would have improved if we were able to make it on the field (Thursday). The numbers are one thing, but I’m more proud of how these young men have carried themselves and competed all year long.”